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NBA Finals, Game 5 Mavericks Vs. Heat: LeBron James Calls Game 5 Biggest Game Of His Life

Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Mavericks and Heat is going to tipoff in just under half an hour - and we'll see how LeBron James can respond to both critics and himself. Earlier today, James responded to DeShawn Stevenson's comments, after Stevenson said that James had mentally checked out of Game 4. Now before Game 5, James calls it the "biggest game of his life."

Per Brian Windhorst:  

After spending a sleepless night reading columns about his struggles in Game 4, LeBron James is fully aware of the gravity of Thursday night's Game 5 of the NBA Finals. It's the biggest game of his life to this point.  

"I understand what is at stake," James said Thursday morning. "This is a big game, probably the biggest game of my life. I'm approaching it that way. Not probably, it is." 

Even further, it seems that James is paying a lot of attention to his critics as well.

Instead of avoiding reactions from his letdown game, James chose to watch TV and look up what columnists had said about it on the Internet.

"I'm my own critic," James said. "You've got to go out and do it yourself."

If James is his own critic, why is he staying up late at night tweeting or watching SportsCenter to see what Jalen Rose has to say? Is a superstar all-world player supposed to care what ESPN thinks? Do you think Tom Brady or Peyton Manning would be engaging in back-and-forth with opponents before the Super Bowl, staying up late at night watching ESPN and tweeting? Probably not.

James certainly is as talented as they come, and if he has a monster game tonight, I'm not going to be surprised. I'm going to be thoroughly annoyed, though, if he does and credits the game to having a little extra motivation because of what's been said about him. He shouldn't need it. 

Just shut up and play, Queen James. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.